Wanted: Dead or Alive?

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It’s quietly beautiful in Mayberry this morning. The cool air gently blows thru the window. It replaces the scent of my worst habit, (smoking), with the smell of life, clean and simple. The sun is lazy this morning as it takes its sweet time to rise, offering time for a nice stretch before its vulgar glare blasts onto the scene.

The silence reminds me that I am witnessing something sacred; something taken for granted day in, and day out. If only I could remember that each new day is truly a gift from God… Life gets so busy, I suppose that having this time to reflect is also a gift. Also, I’m nearly pain-free this morning, and my fingers glide across my keyboard without hesitation. That’s a great feeling…not feeling pain. Be it physical, or mental, it seems to control everything about me these days. I’m growing quite tired of it and don’t intend to abide either physical pain, or heartfelt distress, for much longer. It is no way to live.

My oldest son and, hopefully, his wife, will be coming up to visit at October’s end. We will, at last, be putting Bennie to rest; his boys, spreading his ashes over this land he loved so much. It’s about time…he’s been gone one and a half years, after all. Lately, I’ve seen him roaming around this tiny house fairly regularly. I don’t even believe in such things, yet I find it disturbing that he is unaware that I’m here. Sometimes, I wonder if he’s the one who passed, or was it me? There’s really no way of knowing, when you think about it. We have no idea what happens when we die. Not really. We believe in this, or that, and we live accordingly. Even so…not one person can tell you what life after death is like from firsthand experience. Hmmm…

If I am dead, I can’t decide if I’m in Heaven or Hell. Of course, if I’ve expired, the bad things mean nothing…which would mean I’m in Heaven. If the bad things really do mean something, then I’m still a fortunate one, because they aren’t so bad that I’d say I’m very deep in Hellfire and such. Winning! Although, in the lovliness of this morning, I now have a new burning question: Am I dead, or am I alive? Is the Bennie I see walking around here real and I’m looking from the outside in? Or…hmmmm. Shit. Just what I need; Another question.

I think I’ll get busy and try to forget that I even thought that thought. But, truth being what it is, I will most likely scour the web for information on how one might be certain whether, or not, they are alive. If you find that to be silly, then you haven’t taken even a minute to consider it. Really. Think about it. Who’s to say that we, or anyone we interact with, are truly living? Even in a metaphorical sense, what would the answer mean? Any answer to that question should be life changing. It involves gratitude and sentimental leanings that tug at our core. Faith…lack thereof…more questions about us and God and all that surrounds us in this big, big, world.

I’m certainly not even close to being the first person to ask this question. Much larger brains than mine have taken their best shot at the answer. Yet, in the stillness of a Mayberry morning, it bears asking, once more…

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all is silent here in Mayberry. i sit here, quiet as a church mouse, chain smoking and thinking of you. your memory shrouds my heart this morning, as golden sun falls upon grateful ground

as i look across the room at the bed we shared,
i recall when you and i were ‘we’. my rocking chair creaks a bit
as i consider the things we shared in that bed. passion and pain; tears and laughter…all packaged like a lovely gift, wrapped up in the pillows and comfort. even so, as much as i stare at that bed,
you are never coming back.

i remember the last time i held your hand in mine. it was cold…swollen…lifeless. next to your deathbed, i stood, realizing that i held the hand of a corpse. i was so angry at what they did to you; those ghouls in their white coats. i was angry with you for what you did to yourself, hating myself for never finding the courage to walk away so that you could have a better life with someone new.

it’s been a year and a half now, but, every day, when my eyes open i see your face and i feel your cold, dead, hand in mine. i don’t know if i’ll ever let go of that hand. i love you so much. no matter how bad things were between us, that is still my truth, as it has been for the last 34 years of my life.

were only my love to love me, too…

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blood by blood
nay, bone to marrow
by Cupid’s arrow i’ve been slain
yet, my beloved loves me not
in tortuous solitude i remain

could their be a spell so prickly
that it might appease the gods
and, were i to cast it,
would love come quickly
or will it, first, find me ‘neath the sod

times like these call for things
that faded from memory, long ago
so i’ll send word on angel’s wings
and await an answer from One who knows
in deepest sleep, i’ll hear from her
in sing song, laughter and joy
she’ll take my hand and lead me on
she’ll sing to me this story…

first take the tiniest lock of hair
and bind it with a paste of clay
the redder the better, my dearest one
for we have not come here to play
let’s add a tear from a lover’s eye
one who tore your heart to shreds
now, be the one who makes him cry
but not the one who leaves him dead
which brings me to the very thing that makes this spell divine:
tis the scarlet, my precious pet
the delicious quench; sanguine
for, within it, lies the hope of man
the life, the death…the joy and wrath
all things lovely and profane
his entire world for you to gain
place all these within your vessel
and, at no time, let it leave your view
when you pray, grasp it tightly
then all things, love, will come to you

as above
so below
and, in all things, blessed be
blood by blood
and flesh and bone
a promise made
is one to keep

la la la la la laaaaaaa…. 🙂

ahhhhh…the Falliday season…

 

c9afd082bf85b96704044e4d5d2b183cIt’s a silent Mayberry night. Time is flying by as I finish decorating the house for the Fallidays. I redid everything I did before and now the house looks perfect. Yep…just freakin perfect. And, I’m here, alone, to attest to that.

The last couple of months have been so draining. I hadn’t realized it until yesterday. Things got very ugly between my friend, L, and I, and I don’t expect that we’ll ever talk again. Now, I have all this time on my hands, as I refuse to allow myself to worry over someone who isn’t even worried about their own well being. I guess that’s the pot calling the kettle black, in my case. Even so, I think it’s time to focus on me for a while.

I have never been very good at focusing on myself. I tend to take on projects. People who I turn into projects, is more like it. So, after the last real argument L and I had, I thought I might look up an old boyfriend, or two. Keep in mind, I was with Bennie since ’84 and was his wife for 30 of those years, so I’m talking OLD boyfriends. Unfortunately, after giving it real thought, I came to realize that my old boyfriends were usually men in their early to late thirties, which would make most of them are in their seventies now. O.M.G. Seriously. Sooooo…there goes the old boyfriend thing. Can you even imagine how that would go? Dear GAWD! I bet half of them have great-great-grandchildren by now. Viagra much? Yep…not gonna go there. I’ll just remember them as they were and get on with my life. lol!

I don’t know what I’m going to do with my 50’s. I better figure out how to get over this panic shit soon so I can work. I decided to get my high school diploma. You can get them online now, so that would be great. I’ve always hated having a GED. And, I’d like to get a degree. Criminal Justice. Just because. I thought that I’d have a degree by now, but it just never worked out. I’ve had plenty of opportunity, though, but my boys were little then and opportunity shows up less and less the older you get. But, that doesn’t mean you can’t give yourself opportunities. At least, that way, you know it’s not because you have a nice rack. See? Silver lining! Not that my rack isn’t nice, but you just need to be close to the floor for the best view! LOL! No worries, I still keep them in a fanny pack. It’s just more comfy than wearing a bra…sigh…

I just realized it the 26th. It’s one month away from my cousin’s deathaversary. I miss her. More so now that I’ve got some age on me. She was a hurt person, inside. Broken, really. She was one of those gorgeous women who literally woke up that way; slamming body, perfect hair, natural nails…etc., barf barf barf…MEOW! She was also the most self destructive person I’ve ever met. Even more than L. She was an alcoholic and addict who had a year of clean and sober under her belt when she walked into a bar off the highway and had her first drink. That drink led to another, and so on, until she was kicked out of the bar. She made her way almost all the way across the interstate when she was hit by a drunk driver and killed. She didn’t die immediately. Her skull was caved in and her body was broken. The driver took off, but a man stopped and he sat down and held her in his arms and led her in a prayer of salvation as she died. She breathed her very last breath on the side of the road in the arms of a stranger and knew, for an instant, what unconditional love meant. I thank God for sending that man to her.

Her funeral was a week later and the man attended. He wanted the family to know that she was with the Lord and that she had accepted Him before she passed. I don’t think that any kindness I’ve ever seen equaled that. I’ve often thought of the man over the years. How he embraced the bloody and broken body of a stranger and showed that person love of the sort she’d never known in life. He wasn’t motivated by money or sex or familial ties…he was just there and he instinctively grabbed up this unrecognizable thing that was, only seconds before, one of the most beautiful women I’ve ever seen, and led her to Jesus.

This is always a weird time of year, I guess. It’s time for family and love and joy. It’s time for a lot of things I’m missing right now. A lot of people are. Maybe God will send me someone to spend this season with. Or…maybe it really is time for me to be alone and get happy with that. Either way, it’s gonna be what it’s gonna be. And I will accept it.

a lil cheese to go on that cracker…

i’m feeling really low today. agitated. angry. just boiling mad, in the spot barely beneath the surface of the smile that i force my face to endure. i want to get into my car and just hit the fucking gas; no looking back…no looking forward…just leaving it all up to the Fates.

some days are like that, you know. i’d be surprised if you never had one or two or ten of them. we all do. it’s natural, right? my intellect has made perfect peace with it. i wish that my heart could. is this about a man? yes. of course. what else? two, actually. one who is dead and gone and another who is well on his way.

death was a lovely imagination to me when i was younger. actually, not even so much younger than i am now. i’ve always done that…made terrible things into bearable ideals that are to be cherished and revered. i don’t know why. don’t care to. it just made life much easier. certainly, anyone can understand why. we are all on this plane of existence for a very short time and it can be difficult to bear the burden of that knowledge.

when you begin to outlive those around you, and their demise does not come by your hand, it raises questions that you weren’t so comfy asking before. personally, i feel that we’re all here to perform a singular task. that task can be anything from offering the tiniest kindness to a stranger at the exact moment he, or she, needs to hear it in order to complete his/her task, to inventing or discovering something that will change the world. to me, that answers that old question about why some people die of lung cancer at 30, while others live to be in their 90’s, still puffing away till they finally pass on, peacefully, in their sleep. none of it matters. the only thing that matters is that damn task. that one thing. that moment that we were born for. see? simple. except that none of us ever knows what that task is. not ever. until right after we perform it. we only know then because our clock starts ticking down…to…zero.

it’s so very early, but still a couple of hours from sun-up here, in Mayberry. i fell asleep in my recliner for a couple of hours, and i dreamed of terrifying things. i was happy when my eyes flew open and i caught my breath. i often wonder if dreams aren’t simply another life we live all the time, but can only see when our ‘alpha’ life allows. the alpha life being the one we are consciously aware of living here, in this dimension.

i don’t see how we could be limited to a singular dimension, really. we are made of such stuff that i see no reason that we can’t jump the fence now and again, should we see fit. however, i, for one, am happy that my alpha dimension is the way it is. the other is like Hell come to my door. i know, i know…this sounds nuts. but i don’t think it’s any more nuts than the idiots at NASA and those ridiculous think tanks come up with. normal people are as adept at critical thinking as the most highly educated scientist. why? because wondering about where we come from and where we are going is as normal as breathing. nobody has to teach us to breathe. why must we be taught that, without a piece of paper, our thoughts are any less relevant than any others?

i guess i’m just going through some crap right now. i never got a degree…Hell, i never graduated high school. all i did was marry and raise a couple of boys, and a few more that were not my own, but were my sons, no less. i kept my vows to the bitter end and i worked a very difficult job for most of my adult life. i’m just a regular person with a million questions, but only half a million answers.

maybe that’s my thing…when i get my answers, i’m outta here. i wonder, sometimes…i honestly do.

home sweet home

The Mayberry morning has a spun gold look about it. The sun, having awakened in a kind and gentle mood, seems to have opted to share its joy with the rest of us. It feels as though it grew light all at once this morning; the Night, exhausted from standing its post, was all too happy to accept its much needed break.

I’ve been decorating my home for Fall and I feel like I’m starting to fall in love with it. I know that sounds strange, but I’m sure anyone reading this understands the sentiment behind that statement. Those of us who have not had small children in our lives for some time, or who have other issues that have been robbing them of joy, don’t always fall in 20151019_204837lock step with the holiday season. You forget how wonderful it is to walk in the house and be enveloped by the sight of simple decorations that remind you of the changes taking place this time of year…the fragrances from candles burned that create such a peaceful ambiance in an otherwise normal collection of walls.

‘Home’ has always been an issue for me. As a child, my home was on the border. In my heart, it still is. When I think of home, I remember my desert and the beauty of it all. I think of Lajitas…Presidio…Ojinaga…Alpine. Those places live in my heart today just as they existed the first time I ever saw them. Other than that, I’ve had one other place that was a real home to me; our first house, where we raised the boys. The time spent in that old place was the best. My heart was in it. In the years since leaving that house, I’ve been hard pressed to conjure enough holiday spirit to put up a Christmas tree, much less to decorate for Fall and such. So…to me…this feels really good. It’s like candy for the soul…to love your home; to accept a place as your home. I feel as though my feet may be flirting with the idea of actually being on the ground, firmly planted, for the first time in decades.

These have been a hard two months. A friend lost his mother in late July and promptly fell to pieces. I’ve tried to help him in my own way, but it’s not enough. After all, the blind can’t properly lead the blind, can they? I’ve been fighting the deepest depression of my life and I don’t understand why. And, while I’m still feeling quite ambivalent about the diagnoses assigned me by my shrink, I can’t honestly argue against their validity. The proof’s in the puddin, and I am one fucked up bowl o’puddin. lol!

Anyone who deals with bipolar depression knows that it’s almost like a physical fight to get beyond it. A doc can give you every pill they make, but, ultimately, it’s your brain that has the final call. Doc says my issues are caused by early childhood trauma. I never believed in that sort of thing until now. I thought that once you became an adult, it is simply ridiculous to blame things you do in the present on your childhood. And, I blame nothing I do, or am, on what happened to me as a child. However, having become informed on the issue, I can no longer deny that my childhood casts a very long shadow over my life, indeed. It’s the residual parts of what happens to us as children, I believe. It’s the icky you can’t was off. It’s something you wall up, much like a crazed killer walls up a living victim, brick by brick, ignoring the reaction of that thing inside that you just want to make shut the Hell up. (Ooooo…Mama has a dark side!)

I know that many of my FB friends have had the same, or similarly traumatic, experiences as I had growing up. I know I’m not a special lil snowflake, unique in any way. I wish I were because that would mean that nobody else had to hurt this way. I can’t stand to see others hurting. Most others, that is. I can’t even be happy to see the suffering of those I detest. It’s ridiculous. Doc says it’s because I have no sense of self…no idea who I am. I hope that, should I ever realize who I am, I will continue to never, ever, take pleasure in the emotional pain of another person. Because, unlike a black eye or bloody nose…emotional pain affects everything about you and how you relate to others, thereby affecting totally innocent people in your life. It’s simply a ripple effect, like when you toss a stone into a lake.

I should go. The morning is passing me by and I’d like to get a few things done. I hope and pray that whatever has settled into my head will take leave soon. I take my meds. I try to think happy things. I wake up in the mornings determined to incorporate positivity into my life. I try not to cry all the time like an idiot. And, above all else, I keep in mind that I’m not the only one today…this very minute…who is trying to get through it without making it their last day. There are so many of us…and so few people ever even notice. lol! Smile till it hurts, boys and girls!

the magical intangible

I decided to decorate for Fall this year. I know…running a bit late, as always. But I feel very excited about it. It’s truly a magical time of the year…everything changes. Fall saves us from the horrible Summer heat and the drudgery of long, humid, days. It blows in likeProcessed with VSCOcam with a6 preset a fairy godmother and grants us a reprieve; it allows us our fantasies of all things magic and majestic. I adore the Fall…

Mother and I were reminiscing about things this evening. Mostly, about how great it was when my boys and my nieces and nephews were small. I’d take them to the graveyard at the beginning of every Fall, giving each a big plastic bag. I would tell them that the pine cones on the ground were magic, but you never know which ones had the most within, so they needed to pick up as many as they could carry in their bags. This provided a yearly jaunt to visit my wicked old grandmother, buried deep in the darkest dirt. It also saved me hundreds on pine cones from Hobby Lobby! lol!

Those poor kids. I used to tell them such stories. Like ‘Monster in a Box’. That one came to be when my nephews were about three and five years old, respectively. One day, they told me that they had a monster under their bed. So…I grabbed a wooden box that I had had for years and told them it just so happened to be a monster catchin’ box. As they sat and watched, I called their monster, who heard me allllll the way from under their bed at their house. I called it, stamping my feet and carrying on, until the lil bastard jumped into the box! My nephews had this look on their faces, as though they’d seen a miracle. I bound the box shut with some sizel (sp?) rope, and it stayed on my kitchen counter so I could ‘watch it to make sure it didn’t escape’ for years. And, the years did go by…too quickly, I think. One day, my nephews, who were then about eight and ten, came over to the house with their mom. As we sat at the kitchen table, the oldest looked up and saw the monster box. He jumped up and said, “You still have the monster in that box!”. I told him…of course I did, and I intended on keeping him there forever and a day. He laughed and said there was no monster in that box. I asked him if he’d like to see for himself. He declined. 🙂

Lord, I told the kids in this family some tall tales. They’re all grown now, and they still remember them. I love that. It makes me feel good that they remember the best part of who I ever was. From when I was married to Black Beard…or was it Blue Beard…hmmmm….Anyway, I fell in love with Jean Lafitte, stole Black/Blue Beard’s treasure and ran away with Lafitte, and that’s how Auntie ended up in Galveston and how I met Uncle Bennie. I also climbed Mount Everest in my Jeep, Mathilda. She could also swim and fly, as she was enchanted by a shooting star…

Eventually, my tales spread to my extra kids, who told them to their babies. One of my extra sons even named his boys after characters in a book that I have yet to write, after twenty long years of trying to do so. The story is my favorite and, in some ways, I think it’s too precious to me to define by written word. There is much of the tale that is lost when one cannot hear the intangible magical of it all when told by one who is absolutely in love with the story. And, for me…the teller of the story…I couldn’t bear to miss the looks on the faces of the young ones who found joy in the tales of brother dragons and the lovely mermaid, Felicity…or the furrowed brows on intense lil faces as the tale turned to the evils of the Magi. But, in the end, there is love and beauty and peace in all the land and the mighty dragon, Lucien, finds true love with the beautiful Felicity, and Ember, his scarlet brother is set free to protect the land of their ancestors, casting the Magi into the Pit of Oblivion, never to be seen again. Those faces…there at the end…I couldn’t bear to miss them. And, so, the story in my heart will be one passed along, spoken in a soft voice on a long night when a lil one can’t sleep. That’s what.

It’s strange how an action, like putting up a few decorations, can bring back so many memories. I feel happy right now. That’s not my norm. I don’t feel a lot. Not anymore. But I can’t stop smiling and I think I’m going to take some time to contact my nieces and nephews and see how they are. I might even tell them a new tale, or two. After all, they still believe that Auntie is magical. Honestly, that feels as good as it does knowing how much they love me. I only hope they realize how much I love them.

end stage

End stage alcoholism.
End. Stage. Alcoholism.
No matter how many times I try to put that into my brain, I can’t truly understand it. It is exactly as it sounds; it’s the last stage of the disease prior to death. It’s the part of the disease that, even though you may fight it and win, you may never come back from it, completely. Just as it is with cancer, or any other disease. The only difference, in my view, between something like cancer and a disease of addiction, is that you find the addiction, it doesn’t find you. Cancer, for instance, seems to find you and set its sights upon you with a purposeful vengeance. Where addiction is concerned, it is almost as though WE are the disease and it is us who sets out on our terrible journey with purposeful vengeance.

From the moment we are conceived, every part of every cell strives to live. Life, once set into motion, is determined and forceful in its struggle to continue on. I suppose that’s why suicide is looked upon so harshly in nearly every culture, and why it’s so difficult to actually commit suicide. Our will to live is informed by billions of cells that make up our physical being; each cell having its own biological imperative to thrive. The killing of oneself is the most unnatural thing a human being can do, as it is wholly contrary to what our natural selves have known since conception.

When you think of addiction as disease, I believe that what is lost in translation, so to speak, is that it is an ongoing form of suicide. Is suicide, in and of itself a disease? I don’t know. But, I do know that we seek out our addictions, whether or not they are inherent within us via our genetics, or if they are simply the biproducts of our vices. One cannot become an ‘end stage’ addict without there being a discernible prior stage. That is another difference between something like cancer and addiction. Many of us know people who have discovered, much too late, that they have an end stage disease, such asa80e26be38d432231d6c4c7d8937575c a deadly cancer. However, we all know just as many, and more, who are currently using alcohol, or drugs, in a seemingly benign fashion. However, depending on the person, what we may actually be witnessing is a very slow, decisive, suicide attempt, or, at the very least, the onset of a serious illness.

In my view, and in spite of the fact that I enjoy drinking, alcohol is the most destructive drug there is, or ever was. It is not the nature of the alcoholic to keep it to themselves. Yes, some do. They are the exception. Most enjoy spreading the pain around. If they didn’t enjoy it, they wouldn’t do it, now would they? Drunks are, commonly, a violent lot and usually have little insight into the fact that they are being consumed by a disease of misery and self loathing, even unto death.

Many changes take place in the end stage alcoholic. They often lose control of their bowels and bladder function. They stop eating. They are shaky…their memory goes. They begin to show signs of dementia. They bruise easily and they bleed freely. Their bellies often swell due to gastritis and other stomach problems. It’s not for the faint hearted…end stage alcoholism.

I think I’ve over used the words ‘end stage’. But, that’s what I’m talking about. And, I think that I’m having a very difficult time with those words, and, if I ‘say’ them enough, I’ll really begin to understand them. When someone is in the final stages of cancer, for instance, loved ones gather and try to lend help and support. When someone is in the last stages of what amounts to suicide by booze, people judge them more harshly than ever, hoping it shakes them to wakefulness and that the person will change their wicked ways. It’s disgusting. It’s cruel. Because nobody consciously sets out to die of addiction. Nobody. But, I have to think that, on a subconscious level, that’s exactly what’s happening. Something…some seed planted long ago…took hold and the person decided they weren’t worth the air they breath. So they set out to kill themselves. I think. ? Suicide by pleasure, until it isn’t. One day, you’re holding your own, the next, all Hell comes down on you and you’re shitting yourself, trying to get the shakes to stop and hoping you don’t have a seizure. Just like that. Boom.

I’ve known many alcoholics and other addicts in my lifetime. I’ve always found them to be amazing people. They are normally smarter than others…more sensitive…more creative. And there is always this magic about them in the beginning. But, that starts to fade somewhere between the ‘party’ stage of their addiction and the ‘I need to score so I’ll have some when I wake up’ phase. What comes after that is the ‘always loaded’ stages of addiction. Nothing is ever nice about that. But nothing…and I mean nothing…compares to the final stage. It’s like watching Satan, himself, take someone you love and drag them to Hell. I hate it. I fucking hate it. You can’t save someone who doesn’t want to be saved, no matter how bad you want to. And, at some point, even if they do, they find out that nobody can save them, anyway, because they are far too near the end of a very successful suicide attempt.